What a year! That’s how I scream it now — with both excitement and anxiety — what another year! Despite the pandemic and its domino effect of challenges, more than 9,000 breweries operated in the United States in 2021, a 6-percent increase from 2020. That’s insane.
Masked and vaxxed, CBB had its annual holiday bash this past Saturday in downtown Cleveland. It was sad to note how many restaurants had closed, yet there were still 15 plus craft breweries operating within an easy Uber drive of downtown. That’s amazing. Of course, it hasn’t been easy. Lord no. Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, increased competition, an evolving on/off premise business model and ever looming pandemic continued to challenge and change the industry. There were certainly a lot of big headlines to catch our collective attention in 2021:
- Craft beer forced to face its culture of misogyny and sexual violence
- Bell’s Brewery sells to Lion/Kirin. Joins New Belgium. Larry Bell cites health issues: ‘This was the right time.’
- Sober up: Human trafficking is happening in your community. Here’s how breweries can fight it
- To enjoy DuClaw Brewing’s special edition Unicorn Farts beer, you’ll need to stick your poop in the mail and get screened for colon cancer
Looking back over 2021, I noticed there seemed to be an unnerving amount of holy shit moments over the last 12 months. Here are 21 examples, some of the top headline busters from 2021: